Yurei, Bakemono, Yokai and other Japanese Horror Stories

I am not a huge fan of horror movies, although I was an avid reader of horror when I was younger. The last horror story I read was Ring by Koji Suzuki (1998). It was terrifying, in a very subtle, psychological way. I have recently been watching The Terror: Infamy by AMC on Amazon Prime….

Onna-bugeisha…female Samurai

“Samurai” usually brings forth a vision of a guy in traditional Japanese feudal armour with several swords and a scary disposition. While many samurai were certainly great warriors and warlords, the term actually refers to a class of people in Japan, which, of course, includes women. The bushi class in feudal Japan were the highest…

Chotto Motto, a little more…..

Walking through the door at Chotto Motto is like stepping through a time tunnel. An incredible space that looks like it is straight out of Tokyo in the Showa Era, maybe circa 1975? There is Ultra-man, Godzilla and retro pop-culture everywhere you look. So many Peko-chan and Anpanman, a haven for lovers of Japanese collectables….

Sake Qualified

Back in May I wrote a blog about Super Sake Boy and I taking the WSET Level 3 Award in Sake course and examination. You can read the blog here. At the time we knew we would have to wait eight to ten weeks to receive our results. It occurred to me when I re-read…

Tamura Sake Bar- A Haven in Fitzroy

Earlier this year, a wonderful little bar opened near the top end of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Dark and mysterious, but cleverly illuminated with a welcoming glow from inside, Tamura Sake Bar has all the wonderful things a sake bar in Japan has, namely great sake, great food and wonderfully generous hospitality, here in Melbourne….

Shohei Otomo…incredible ink ability

The week before last, Super Sake Boy and I went to the opening of Reiwa, Shohei Otomo’s exhibition on at SHDW Gallery at 112 Flinders Lane, in Melbourne. The opening was accompanied by the launch of a beer that Shohei-san had collaborated on with our friend Tomoya‘a restaurant, Chotto Motto, in Collingwood and Temple Brewing…

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Peace Park

Thursday morning we headed out for coffee and realised that Abby needed to go back to bed. She was achy and had a bad headache. Finn made the decision he was not up for atomic bomb history and museums. So Super Sake Boy dropped Abby home and Finn went off exploring downtown. Super Sake Boy,…

Japan Fan in New York

Last week I was lucky enough to spend four days in New York on the way home from visiting relatives in Canada. What a crazy city. I am used to busy, I travel to Tokyo a bit, but this was different. Manhattan is so condensed and the buildings are so tall, it was a little…

Mining in to Hashima’s History

Wednesday morning saw us enjoying another delightful Japanese style breakfast, cooked by Fujiwara-san’s wife. The breakfast room was very pretty with shoji screens, tatami and shiny black furniture. The day out the window looked positively miserable. We have been quite lucky with the weather, with only short periods of rain. It’s the wet season here,…

Gunkanjima, the Battleship Island

Tuesday morning we were up early for a traditional ryokan breakfast. Not nearly quite as terrifying as our previous ryokan experience, a much more homely Japanese breakfast of saba (mackerel), rice, miso, tofu, pickles and green tea, the meal was delicious and satisfying. Fujiwara-san, the owner of the ryokan, is so cute, and his family…

Headed for Kyushu

Monday morning we were booked to take three shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagasaki. I woke up feeling very less than average and had been coughing and spluttering all night. I always feel sad about leaving Kyoto, but this time I was feeling so unwell, it was overpowering my impending dread. I got up early and…

An Unexpected Cultural Adventure

On Sunday, Super Sake Boy and I had arranged to meet up with the very lovely Fujimoris, the couple we met at Shu Kura sake bar in Ponto-cho. Our conversation on the evening was very broken English/Japanese and somewhat sake fuelled, but fun and interesting, none-the-less. Super Sake Boy had painstakingly written his emails in…